Sink or Swim for France as England start a Flood
Toby Flood playing for england at 12 will mean we will now beat the French by 14 points not 10!!!
My northern monkey enthusiasm for sport and England may have given it away but Toby Flood playing 12 is a great selection. Mike “do I not like blue” Tindall.
I think it is a masterstroke. Johnson has been conservative in his selections and then in the knock out stages pulls this one out of the bag. I love it.
The obvious give away to selection was Toby Floods “disappointment” at losing out to Wilko. Toby is one of life’s team players. before a big game for him to suggest the team was not being picked on form was like one of Cantona’s Seagulls! Toby is not a rank breaker and that is why he is a great team player. and why you sensed something was afoot in camp. great bluff.
1. left foot right foot combination of Wilkinson and Flood at 10 and 12 – kicking game goes through the roof. expect damp conditions. understand that Medard can be a huge strength for France counter attacking but only if he can read where the kicks are going. Ability of Flood and Wilkinson to split behind rucks makes life very difficult for French to cut down England kicking options. Put Medard under pressure and a strength becomes a weakness. France 2003, wet Sydney night, again Mike Tindall dropped. I think Woodward got it wrong. I would have dropped me on a wet night. and played Wilko Catt and Tins. all I did was chase kicks. Mike T way better back row forward than me! Wilko 10, Catt 12, Me 13. French had no answer. Tins must hate sight of Frenchmen in World Cups. “Do I not like blue” said in Wakefield accent!
2. distribution. passing game of first two receivers excellent. Berwick Barnes in for Aussies is a clever move in same way. just as South Africa losing Francois Steyn in this role is a major blow. Flood and Wilkinson can now run any move going either way. both have ability to play flat and fire passes to strike runners. Foden Tuilagi Ashton Cueto must be licking their lips. more ball time for those guys means a better England. when we have played well in last 18 months these guys have been heavily involved. stop feeding them ball and the team dries up. Croft also huge fan of it. likes to roam out wide, precision passing out to him will increase his capacity to influence a game. just as Roberts is back to 2009 form so Croft can be with these two guys playing at 10 and 12.
3. Tuilagi becomes a bigger threat to opposition. Why? because now the added width means defenders sneak a yard here and yard there concerned about the outside threat and the second they do that you drop Tuilagi in on short balls, drop offs, late switches and he will walk through. he is walking through midfields when England have played with no width and opposition have been waiting for him. just think what he can do when there is an alternative threat and the gaps are a fraction wider.
4. another brain. another thinker in the side. England have looked at a loss to change game plan when things have gone wrong. almighty pressures on decision makers. load the team with another decision maker and the ability to alternate between styles of play increases 5 fold. Flood can be Wilko’s eyes and vice versa. Can push the other one flat when needed can drag him back when the blitz comes. experience of knowing the right calls to make increases when you have two guys who have 3 world cup finals between them. Toby was there in 07, do not forget that.
5. knowledge of each others idiosyncracies. crucial part to any game. knowing how a player will react to situations without having to think about it is crucial when the whistle goes and the all hell breaks loose. times together, and a lot of them tough ones at Newcastle, means they know each others game inside out.
6. last but by certainly no means least… Mindset of the team. the attitude of the team changes. Youngs has been quiet but know looks outside him and sees Wilkinson reassuring kicking style to take the pressure off him and Flood, his old pal at Leicester , and remembers taking Wales to cleaners in 6 Nations. the men out wide feel more confident of ball getting to them and with it make more runs. Flood is a Steven Gerard style midfielder not a Gareth Barry. Flood likes to get forward, pick up the assists, nip in himself. with a player like that in the side then the strikers start to salivate… Just ask Torres!
7. offloads. the gangly youth gets beyond tackles, his Mr Tickle like arms beyond tacklers and offloads. an offloading team will win this world cup not a ball up the jumper team.
1. defence. dont buy it – the kid can defend! he might not smash people but he gets in the right positions, reads the game well and makes his hits. crucial in knock out stages. dont go chasing big hit, make sure the defensive system is operating well.
2. pace. dont buy it – with the ability to play and offload you buy yourself the yard you need and make up for the straight line foot speed.
3. extra back row in midfield – potential downside. most centres are extra back row forwards now, brilliant at break down. flood not in Tindall or O’Driscoll class here.
We are on the march gang!!! We are on the march…………………………« Go Back